Since January 2016, nearly 800 University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School medical and graduate nursing students, residents and fellows have completed the school’s Opioid Safe-prescribing Training Immersion (OSTI) program.

opioid safe prescribing curriculum

The initiative is a model for cross-institutional partnership to address a public health emergency in real time, says Melissa Fischer, MD, Med, a professor of medicine and the associate dean for undergraduate medical education, academic innovation and the interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation (iCELS) at UMass.

In 2015, UMass Medical School answered a call from the governor to address the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts by developing a curriculum to include the teaching of 10 agreed-upon core competencies for the prevention and management of prescription drug misuse. The core competencies approach the opioid epidemic from the perspectives of prevention, treatment of at-risk patients and management of substance use disorder as a chronic disease, offering tools for patient assessment and building awareness of the related social determinants of health, associated stigma and barriers to care.

Curriculum Inventory and Reports (CIR) is designed to serve as the premier benchmarking and reporting tool on content, structure, delivery and assessment of medical school curricula, according to Fisher.